This week marks the official launch of the site. I am in no way some huge key player, I was just lucky enough to be brought on by the fabulous Melanie, after a lot of fantastic things were already in place. I’m trying to do my best to contribute what I can, and I am continually giddy about the team of women she and Tana are assembling. I highly recommend checking them out.
To celebrate the launch I was asked to talk “empowering women.” This is the goal of mom’s best network, and because it can mean so many different things, I’ve been having a hard time deciding on what to post about.
I could talk about motherhood (as my friend Meg did beautifully) or body image or work/life balance. I could talk about not letting hater’s hate or loving yourself or a number of things. But I wanted to share something more, the root of who I am today.
So I want to go back, way back. To 2008 to share a post with you that I wrote to explain my life theory. And why I do what I do. I didn’t feel the need to rewrite it, because it is as true today as it was in 2008. So forgive me if you’ve read it before.
For about a year or so of my life I fell asleep almost every night crying and woke up almost every morning on the verge of tears.
Sometimes life can be hard. Sometimes life can be sad.
My heart is broken for a lot of people I love right now, and I’ve been remembering what it was like to fall asleep on a wet pillow every night and to try to pass off puffy, swollen eyes, as nothing more than the latest trend.
I wasn’t totally suicidal, but I thought getting hit by a car didn’t sound too bad either. Back then I couldn’t think of one possible reason I should bother to get out of bed other than I might get hungry. I read a lot, and decided the only productive thing I could do with my time was expand my mind.
Still, I couldn’t fathom, with all the pain and all the suffering, how there could be a reason for life. For me or for any one. And I knew I had a charmed life. I thought about it a lot. I mean, a lot a lot. What was the point of philosophy, intellectual thought, science, anything…if there would still be wars and genocide, rape and just plain ill will?
Common questions for your post-adolescent. But it doesn’t matter if they’re common, or cliche, or anything like that if they are YOUR questions. Because it doesn’t change the fact you still want answers, need answers.
And then one day I had a full on epiphany. I’m pretty sure the clouds parted and everything.
The only way to combat hate, the only way to to make a difference of any kind, the only way I was going to make it from one day to the next was with love. Love was the key.
Love, the very thing that had brought me to my crippled state, was the only thing that would be able to build me back up. Not romantic love, that type of love is flawed, but pure selfless love. The type of love that causes concern for strangers, the type of love that makes us question what more we can do to help. It’s the only type of love to get out of bed for.
Maybe I should have paid closer attention to the Beatles, or maybe I was just behind the curve. But for whatever reason I hadn’t put this together before. I missed the boat. Yes, the love boat.
Ever since my epiphany I have tried to give, receive, and generate as much love as possible. Some days I’m better than other days. Some months I’m better than other months. But little by little, life got better and the nights filled with tears became fewer and farther between. I still get sad, I still get depressed, but I always know underneath, there’s a reason for the pain.
So, I don’t want to preach, I don’t want to be cheesy or sentimental. (Too late?) I just wanted to say, that if you’re sad, or if your heart is broken, or if maybe you’re wondering how you will ever make it from this day to the next, it gets better, and I love you. And should you need more than that, here’s my favorite quote:
“There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” Leon Bloy (French Novelist)
My heart has grown so much through my small trials and I have been able to experience a happiness and true love I never thought possible. I thank God every day for the places in my heart that now exist…even if they make me cry over touching commercials and Hallmark cards.
So there you have it. My heart, my soul, my everything on a plate. How does this relate to empowering women? Well, at the end of the day, I think empowering women means helping them see every aspect of what makes them beautiful, powerful and strong. It’s helping them learn how to love themselves. See, it all comes back to love.
So go ahead, give yourself a kiss in the mirror. And if you feel odd doing it, pretend it’s me, forcing a big wet one on you, because you know I would if I could. I’ve told you before, but I’ll tell you again, you’re awesome. Why? Because…